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The A-to-C economy and The
Educational Triage
· Marketisation bought in: formula funding, exam league tables, competition.
· These changes explain why schools are under pressure to stream and
select pupils. For example, schools need to achieve a good league table
position if they want to attract pupils and funding. But this widens the
achievement gap within schools. The policy of publishing league tables
creates what Youdell and Gillborn call the A-to-C economy. This is where
schools ration their time and resources and concentrate them on the pupils
that they believe have the best chance of or having the potential of getting
A*- C grades at GCSE. This then boosts their league table position. G&Y
call this process the educational triage. This basically means sorting out the
good and the bad pupils. This term is often used when treating the injured
on the battlefields, where medical staff decide who to give the scarce
medicine to e.g. there is the walking wounded who can be left because they
will survive (those with potential), those who will die anyway so they will be
ignored (hopeless cases), and those who have a chance of survival so are
given the medication to save them. This then also produces a self- fulfilling
prophecy because as soon as the child is labelled they are either ignored or
pushed to achieve the best.…read more

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Competition and Selection
· Marketisation also explains why schools are under so much
pressure to select more able, largely middle class students who will
help them gain a higher position in the league table.
· However, while these popular, high achieving schools can afford to
screen out lower achieving often working class pupils, less popular
schools are obliged to take them on which then gives them worse
results, which then leads to less funding and even less popularity
etc.
· These pressures have resulted in increased social class segregation
between schools. It is argued by Bartlett that marketisation leads to
popular schools: cream-skimming- selecting the better- ability
students who gain better results and cost less to teach, silt-
shifting- off- loading pupils with learning difficulties who are
expensive to teach and get bad results…read more

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An Image to Attract Middle- Class
Parents
· Some schools have responded to marketisation
by creating a traditional image to attract middle
class parents and this too reinforces class
divisions.
· There is evidence that marketisation and
selection processes have created a polarised
education system. 1) popular, successful, well-
resourced schools with more able, largely middle
class students. 2) unpopular, failing, under-
resourced schools with mainly low- achieving
working class pupils.…read more

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